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Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners Seeks Public Comment on Patient Care Expansion Plans

PULLMAN—Pullman Regional Hospital’s Board of Commissioners is seeking public comment Wednesday, June 15th beginning at 5 p.m., on a proposed patient care expansion plan.

The plan calls for expanding the hospital’s campus footprint for the emergency department, surgery and gastrointestinal services, mental health services, diagnostic imaging, laboratory services, sleep studies, cardiac and pulmonary services, integrating services currently off campus, reducing rented spaces, and providing patient care spaces for new potential services such as rheumatology, endocrinology, and dermatology. 

If pursued, this would be the first major expansion for Pullman Regional Hospital since the hospital was built in 2004. Currently, the main campus of Pullman Regional Hospital spans 105,000 square feet; the hospital leases an additional 20,000 square feet of space in Pullman.

The hospital’s facilities planning efforts started in December of 2021 when a Strategic Health Care Facilities Planning Committee—led by Ned Warnick of Design West—was formed. The committee included hospital staff, local physicians, hospital commissioners, members of Pullman City government, leaders from Washington State University, and Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories. 

The committee shaped goals for hospital expansion plans and helped develop a list of medical entities to interview. Interview feedback from 26 local healthcare entities defined immediate space needs and space for future service line growth. The committee reviewed three plans, ranging from 58,000 to 115,000 additional square footage, with a final recommendation of 57,000 square foot expansion and 17,000 square foot remodel estimated to cost $45 million—including minor medical equipment. 

The proposed $45 million expansion plan was presented during the public May board meeting and funding options were discussed during the public June board meeting.

Funding options include a combination of hospital reserves/borrowing, philanthropy, and a tax payer bond. Should the board consider bond funding—in addition to hospital financing and philanthropy—the decision would be made on July 6, 2022, during the board’s monthly public meeting. The board would also decide on the amount of the bond at this time. This action, if taken, would place a bond measure before Pullman voters on November 8, 2022. 

“Asking our community to complement hospital funds and philanthropy with a bond is significant,” said Jeff Elbracht, President of the Pullman Regional Hospital Board of Commissioners. “We’ve heard and experienced our hospital is running short on space, and we need to do what is best for our community to improve access to the 5-star patient care our hospital is known for, while appreciating what it costs to pursue an expansion.”

The meeting will be held in conference rooms C and D at Pullman Regional Hospital, 835 SE Bishop Blvd. Pullman, WA 99163. Find zoom participation information: www.pullmanregional.org/board